Flight MH17: Dutch statement at the Security Council

Text of Statement by Ambassador Karel van Oosterum, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations.

Security Council session on Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, 18 July 2014

Mr. President,

Thank you for granting me the opportunity to deliver a message of my minister under these exceptional circumstances.

Mr. President,

Yesterday almost 300 innocent men, women and children lost their lives on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, when the plane crashed on Ukrainian soil. This horrible event has shocked the world and has deeply saddened all countries that have lost compatriots. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who mourn the death of loved ones, wherever their cradle may have stood. At least 189 victims were Dutch nationals. Today, many thousands in my country, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, grieve for the loss of parents, children, loved ones, friends, co-workers. This is a dark hour in our national history; we are a nation in shock and in tears. But we are also a nation united in our determination to seek the truth about what happened.

We call on all parties who have any influence on the matter to grant unfettered access to the crash site to emergency responders and investigators alike. We call on this august Council, the world’s highest authority, to mandate a full, thorough and impartial international investigation into the exact circumstances surrounding the crash of flight MH17. All relevant materials recovered from the site, including the airplane’s black boxes, should be made available to the international investigation immediately and without interference.

Mr. President,

Should an investigation show that this tragedy is the result of the use of weapons, the Netherlands will condemn this despicable act in the strongest terms and will demand for all those responsible, both directly and indirectly, to be held accountable and to be brought to justice. This is our moral obligation to the memory of the victims and our duty in the face of international law and justice. My country will not rest until justice is served.

Mr. President,

We want to bring the victims’ remains home to their loved ones as soon as possible. We ask the United Nations to help us achieve this. Those who mourn, wherever they may reside, deserve to know what caused the deaths of their loved ones. Our nations deserve to know what happened. The world has a right to know.

I thank you, Mr. President.

Over Hans de Vreij

Retired Dutch journalist. Covered EU, NATO, UN, security & defense. Was correspondent in Berlin, Brussels, Geneva, Prague. Studied Russian language & literature.
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